MX23RW : Friday, February 26 10:17:55| >> :60:1051:1051:

Danny Higginbotham: 'No Bastian Schweinsteiger concerns'

Danny Higginbotham tells Sports Mole that Manchester United's signing of Bastian Schweinsteiger is not a gamble.

Former Manchester United defender Danny Higginbotham has dismissed suggestions that the recent addition of Bastian Schweinsteiger was risky business by the club.

The Red Devils confirmed yesterday afternoon that they had signed the Germany captain from Bayern Munich for a fee reportedly in the region of £14m.

The midfielder's arrival at Old Trafford has been met with doubts from some pundits, who have raised questions over his age - Schweinsteiger will turn 31 just before the start of the new Premier League season - and his injury record of late.

However, Higginbotham has told Sports Mole that the World Cup winner's style of play should mean that he will have no issue when it comes to adapting to the English game.

"If you're talking about a player that relies on energy and running all over the pitch, then maybe there might be a few question marks. In a lot of careers, the peak age is 30 - that was the case for me," said the 36-year-old.

"If you look at Schweinsteiger, great players like him have a yard in their head. He's not going to be running up and down the pitch like a mad man. He's going to sit in front of the back four and will dictate the play from there.

"He will have the legs around him with the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin and Ander Herrera. Yes, you can get injuries when you're older, but I don't have any concerns."

Higginbotham, who made a handful of appearances for United prior to his departure for Derby County in 2000, also stressed that Schweinsteiger would provide manager Louis van Gaal with some leadership qualities on the pitch - something that he conceded has been lacking following the departures of some big names.

"If you look at Manchester United when they were the dominant force, when they did concede the first goal, to come back and win a game is a big thing and that is where leaders come into it. The manager cannot always rectify things on the side of the pitch, it has to come down to player management," he added.

"They've lost so many leaders in recent years - the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Ryan Giggs. Leaders do not have to shout, they can lead by example on the pitch. They've been short of those in recent years and Schweinsteiger is massive for that, particularly in the position that he plays in."

Schweinsteiger flew out to the USA yesterday with his new teammates on the club's pre-season tour and he could make his first appearance in United colours against Club America on Saturday.


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